Amish Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Icing

This chocolate cake (aka Black Joe cake) with a smooth peanut butter frosting, was a favorite among customers in my mom’s catering business, which she ran out of her barn and then basement while old order Amish. This decadent and moist chocolate cake is made extra special with the delicious peanut butter cream cheese frosting. I absolutely love topping this chocolate cake with Amish cornstarch pudding, it’s so good together!! I also like to add a side of fresh milk from a local dairy farm.

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Amish chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting

Amish chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting (9 by 13 inch)

This chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting is made in a 9 by 13 inch baking dish. This cake is an Amish family favorite and is the perfect size to take along to a pot-luck, holiday party, or summer picnic.
4.43 from 108 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Amish
Servings 12


  • 9 by 13 inch baking dish (linked below)
  • Mixing bowls (linked below)
  • hand mixer (linked below)
  • Whisk (linked below)


  • 2 cups all purpose flour leveled
  • 2 cups brown sugar packed
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 cup hot, strong coffee *see note

Peanut butter frosting:

  • 4 oz. cream cheese softened
  • 4 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk *see note
  • 3-4 cups confectioner's sugar *see note


Preheat oven to 350.

  • Whisk together the flour, brown sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda, then add the strong coffee (freshly brewed), milk, oil and eggs and whisk the cake batter together until well combined.
  • Pour the chocolate cake batter into a greased 9 by 13 inch baking dish and bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until a knife or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool.
  • Combine the cream cheese and peanut butter by hand or with a stand mixer until smooth and well combined. Add 1 tablespoon milk and the vanilla extract and mix into the cream cheese mixture. Add confectioner's sugar-1 cup at a time- and the remaining 1-2 tablespoons milk mixing well between each addition until the frosting is light, fluffy and easy to spread.
  • Spread the frosting over the cooled cake and enjoy! *see notes below on storage.


To make a cup of strong coffee you can use 2-3 tablespoons instant espresso powder or instant coffee dissolved into one cup hot water. 
Add confectioner’s sugar and milk a little at a time to the frosting, until it is smooth and spreadable. You may need more or less of each depending on your preferred consistency. 
More notes and step by step photos below. 
Keyword Amish, Chocolate cake, peanut butter cream cheese frosting, 9 by 13
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


  • 9 by 13 inch baking dish I prefer to use a glass baking dish for this chocolate cake.
  • Mixing bowls I also prefer to use stainless steel mixing bowls, which is what we used growing up and they have always been sturdy and reliable for us!
  • Hand mixer Growing up in the old order Amish we did not use hand mixers, because we were not allowed to have electricity in our homes. Today I prefer to use a hand mixer for whipping up a quick frosting like the peanut butter cream cheese frosting for this chocolate cake.
  • Whisk A large whisk is needed to mix up the wet and dry ingredients for this chocolate cake batter.

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Ingredients needed for the Amish chocolate cake: Brown sugar, milk, flour, coffee, eggs, baking powder, baking soda, oil, cocoa powder. Not shown: cream cheese, peanut butter, confectioner’s sugar, vanilla and additional milk for the peanut butter frosting.

Step 1: Combine the dry ingredients.

I prefer to use all purpose flour for this recipe, because I think it gives the cake a great texture on its own. However if you prefer you can also use cake flour.

Step 1 continued: Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk well until lump free and smooth (the batter should be somewhat thin).


I just recently learned this myself, but adding hot water or hot coffee to cocoa powder allows the cocoa powder to bloom and develop a richer chocolate flavor in baked goods.

Step 2: Pour the cake batter into a greased 9 by 13 inch baking dish and bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick or table knife inserted in the center comes out clean.


Be sure to keep the oven door shut for at least the first 20 minutes. Opening the oven door too soon can cause the cake to collapse in the center.

Step 3: Combine the ingredients for the peanut butter cream cheese frosting until the frosting is creamy and spreadable.


You can make the frosting to taste by adding more or less of any of the ingredients. Milk helps to thin the frosting to make it spreadable, but should be added sparingly until you get the amount and consistency you prefer.

Step 4: Once the cake is cooled, spread the frosting over top and then enjoy!

Storing this Chocolate cake with Peanut butter frosting:

Keep the chocolate cake covered at room temperature for 2-3 days or keep in the refrigerator for 5-7 (refrigerating the cake will also dry it out a bit). This cake can also be frozen for several months in an airtight container.

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5 thoughts on “Amish Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Icing”

  1. 5 stars
    Very yummy recipe! I made cupcakes and they turned out great. I’m not a coffee drinker and I can’t taste the coffee at all. Just nice and chocolatey.

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